SharePoint Server 2010 Governance Considerations

Governance planning is even more important in SharePoint Server 2010 because the increased emphasis and availability of social computing features means that there are more types of content to govern. In addition, because SharePoint Server 2010 offers new capabilities to manage metadata at the enterprise level, you will need to consider the addition of a new organizational role that plans and monitors metadata attributes across your organization. So, even if you have already defined a well-documented governance plan for your SharePoint Server 2007 environment, you will need to adapt your plan to incorporate the SharePoint Server 2010 features that you plan to deploy. We’ll discuss these areas in more detail later in the white paper, but here are some of the governance areas that are new to SharePoint Server 2010:

• SharePoint Server 2010 offers users a far more participatory role in the solution information architecture through the use of “social data” such as tags, bookmarks and ratings. Users need to understand and internalize the value proposition for leveraging these features. Solution designers will likely need to provide both guidance and encouragement for their use.

• SharePoint Server 2010 introduces new capabilities for sharing metadata across multiple site collections and even server farms which require planning and control. You will need to consider the addition of a new role (or at least a new responsibility to an existing role) to manage and maintain the dictionary of shared metadata.

• SharePoint Server 2010 includes new and more user-friendly records management capabilities such as the ability to declare a record “in place.” While many organizations have records management plans and policies for their SharePoint Server 2007 implementations, enforcing and acting on these plans has not been consistent. The new records management capabilities introduce an opportunity to create and enforce your records management plan.

• SharePoint Server 2010 offers many more opportunities for users to customize their sites with easy-to-apply themes, create custom designs with Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer, and use sandboxed solutions to create custom solutions. Your Governance Plan now needs to include decisions regarding how, where, and when to allow configuration by using these expanded capabilities.

• SharePoint Server 2010 does a better job of handling lists with large amounts of data. However, there is still a need to ensure that users understand the kind and quantity of information that they should store in SharePoint Server. Through a new feature, SharePoint Server 2010 can automatically restrict user queries of large lists by using Resource Throttling. This is a policy setting and should be considered when defining a plan for overall governance because it can impact overall usability of the system.

• SharePoint Server 2010 can also assist in partitioning large amounts of data through a feature called the Content Organizer. Through the content organizer, documents can be routed into folders and libraries based on metadata and other factors. The downside is that users may not understand where their document landed and should be addressed in the overall plan for data management.

• Finally, SharePoint Server 2010 introduces a feature called sandboxed solutions, which enables the site collection administrator to directly upload customization elements such as Web Parts. Within your governance plan, you should have a customization policies section that describes how you will deal with the numerous ways to create solutions that customize SharePoint Server.

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